5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 20

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include a savvy hire by Dell, a venture capital win by a hot startup in the predictive analytics market, Hewlett-Packard's plans to assist partners as it splits into two companies, AT&T's partner program upgrade, and BlackBerry's latest move to turn itself around.

Dell Hires Away Cisco Exec To Be New Enterprise CTO

Dell pulled off a major talent acquisition coup this week when CRN confirmed that the Round Rock, Texas-based company had hired former Cisco Systems executive Paul Perez to be its new enterprise CTO.

Perez, the former vice president and general manager of computing systems at Cisco, is credited with being the driving force behind building Cisco's successful Unified Computing System servers. That product line has brought Cisco into direct competition with Dell and other server makers such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

Hiring Perez to serve within its enterprise group will help Dell build up its enterprise business and compete more strongly against Perez's former employer.

Predictive Analytics Startup InsideSales Raises $60 Million, Valued At $1 Billion-Plus

InsideSales, a hot startup in the fast-growing predictive analytics software market, said this week it had raised $60 million in Series D round financing. That brings the Provo, Utah-based company's total funding to $139 million and puts its market value at close to $1.5 billion.

While the dollar amount of InsideSales' latest funding round was impressive by itself, what really got peoples' attention was the fact that the roster of new investors included Microsoft and Salesforce.com -- two of the industry's largest vendors in the Software-as-a-Service arena.

InsideSales maintains a database of some 13 billion sales transactions that it mines for insights into the buying patterns of big businesses.

HP Launches Program To Help Partners Navigate Split

As HP splits into two companies, the IT company will rely heavily on its channel partners to help customers navigate the change, CEO Meg Whitman told solution providers at the company's annual HP Global Partner Conference this week.

And to help partners themselves navigate the split, the company this week launched HP Partner Navigator, a program that provides HP representatives and call center support to work with partners as HP splits into two companies, one focused on enterprise systems and the other on personal computing and printing products. A particular focus is making sure partners don't get left out in the cold as sales feeds and other back-office functions are divided between the new companies.

AT&T Steps Up Channel Game With Partner Program Enhancements

AT&T unveiled enhancements to its Partner Exchange program this week, saying the channel will play a bigger role in the telecommunications giant's distribution strategy.

The expanded program offerings include new development funds and additions to the company's API platform. Channel chief Brooks McCorcle said the moves would help partners develop recurring revenue lines of business.

The company also reduced its three-tier program structure to two, a move the company said would provide more partners with access to competitively priced products and services, and benefits like market development funds.

BlackBerry Leverages Its Security Technology With New SecuTablet

Give BlackBerry credit -- the company is working every possible angle in its efforts to return to growth. This week, the company dipped into the tablet market by partnering with IBM and Samsung to create an extra-secure version of Samsung's Galaxy Tab S.

Targeting users in the public sector who handle sensitive data, the new SecuTablet is protected by a micro-SD security card from BlackBerry's secure communications subsidiary, Secusmart. IBM software is used to further safeguard the tablet's applications.

A key component of CEO John Chen's turnaround strategy for BlackBerry is to leverage the company's technology assets, such as security and wireless device management, in new ventures.